Obstruction of the Tax Code: Supreme Court Limits Gov’t Power to Criminalize Sloppy Tax Filers

Did you commit a felony when you made those cash payments to your babysitter?  Last week, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion answering the question as decisively, no. “Please,” you are probably thinking, “that could never have been the case.” But according to the federal government’s arguments in a […]

Supreme Court Limits Gov’t Power to Charge Criminal Penalties for Unknowingly Obstructing the IRS

Washington, D.C. – The Supreme Court this week issued a ruling protecting all Americans from prosecution for vaguely defined tax crimes. In the case of Carlo Marinello, II v. United States, it clarified a broad statute regarding who can be charged with criminal conduct for obstructing the IRS’s administration of the tax […]

SCOTUS Oral Arguments Rundown: Marinello v. United States

Today the Supreme Court heard argument in Marinello v. United States No. 16-1144.  As we’ve noted before here and at the Federalist Society blog this case considers what level of knowledge a tax payer has to have to be subject to the omnibus felony penalties of 26 U.S.C. § 7212(a) […]

Inaccessible Criminal Codes and Their Domino Effects

On October 4, 2017, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2017 (“SRCA”) was reintroduced in the Senate with bipartisan support. A version of the bill was first introduced in the Senate in October of 2015, but never received a vote. If signed into law, SRCA would reduce and restrict […]

Supreme Court to Hear Case on Obstruction of the Tax Code

The Supreme Court this week announced that it will hear the case of Carlo Marinello, II v. United States next fall.  The Supreme Court granted Mr. Marinello’s petition for a writ of certiorari after considering it in conference on June 26, 2017, the Court’s last day of the summer session.  […]

Criminal Prosecutions on Tax Day: “If this is the law, nobody is safe”

Tax Day is just behind us, marking the ceremonial American tradition of waiting to the last minute to electronically file a Form 1040 in the hopes of receiving a tax refund (or maybe that is just me). This year alone, the IRS expects to process approximately 150 million tax returns.  […]

A Warrantless Phone Search, A Dangerous Precedent

Washington D.C. – Cause of Action Institute (“CoA Institute”) today filed an amicus curiae brief in support of Defendant Hamza Kolsuz who in February, 2016 was arrested at a Virginia airport attempting to board a plane bound for Istanbul, Turkey. At the time of his arrest, U.S. Department of Homeland […]